Natural Behavior Polymorphism Due to a cGMP-dependent Protein Kinase of Drosophila

Science. 1997 Aug 8;277(5327):834-6. doi: 10.1126/science.277.5327.834.


Naturally occuring polymorphisms in behavior are difficult to map genetically and thus are refractory to molecular characterization. An exception is the foraging gene (for), a gene that has two naturally occurring variants in Drosophila melanogaster food-search behavior: rover and sitter. Molecular mapping placed for mutations in the dg2 gene, which encodes a cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP)-dependent protein kinase (PKG). Rovers had higher PKG activity than sitters, and transgenic sitters expressing a dg2 complementary DNA from rover showed transformation of behavior to rover. Thus, PKG levels affected food-search behavior, and natural variation in PKG activity accounted for a behavioral polymorphism.

Publication types

  • Comment
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Cyclic GMP / metabolism
  • Cyclic GMP-Dependent Protein Kinases / genetics*
  • Cyclic GMP-Dependent Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Genes, Insect*
  • Larva / genetics
  • Larva / physiology
  • Phenotype
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Signal Transduction


  • Cyclic GMP-Dependent Protein Kinases
  • Cyclic GMP